High class thriller author Joseph Finder, in his interviews across the web, tells us that he keeps his writing motto always in plain sight at his work station: Reverse, reveal, surprise.
Knowing that the quarterback is so fond of the reverse play, you begin to look for it, which somewhat diminishes the surprise. This is why I tend not to read thrillers back-to-back, but space them to be read at the appropriate time, when my mood and mindset are right.
I first read Paranoia in October, thinking it would fit the Halloween mood, but it turned out that the title is misleading. What I had in mind was a novel with raging paranoia, such as Stephen Dobyns' magnificent thriller, The Church of Dead Girls. There is some mild paranoia in here, but mainly this is a corporate caper thriller, something like the plots you see on the quality television series, Leverage, though written with more moral ambiguity. The Sting updated to corporate speak and cubicle farms.
There is comedy here in the skewering of corporate types and the Dilbert-like insights into the hypocrisies of the bureaucratic forms we are so familiar with today--spread from corporation to corporation in the 1990s like some kind of STD among "efficiency experts."
The novel is fun, nicely paced and nicely written. It invites a deeper analysis, and I might do that sometime, but this is just a review and I'll give no spoilers out today. It stands with, say, Alan Glynn's The Dark Fields which I reviewed in this space last year.
And like that fine novel, this one is also being made into a movie, in production as I type this. The filming of Paranoia is directed by Robert Luketic and stars Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman, Harrison Ford, Lucas Till, and Amber Heard.